We all take special care of our cats, dogs, bird, horses, and pot-bellies during the winter months. Freezing temps and lack of running water and plentiful food, however, is hard on wildlife as well. People like to feed the birds, but who wants to spend tons of money on these suet cakes? Well, you can make your own cakes--all at one time--ones that'll last you for most of the winter. It's easy!
Ingredients: big can of Crisco or lard; big can of cheap peanut butter (preferably crunchy style); medium-sized bag of corn meal (at grocery store in baking section); large bag of bird seed with sunflower seeds included; saran wrap; and freezer bag.
Put equal amounts of Crisco or lard and peanut butter (you don't need to measure--just guestimate) in a huge pot. Add a whole lot of seed and mix those three ingredients. Next, pour in corn meal until the whole thing stirs fairly hard. See if you can form a square without your fingers sticking to the whole mess. When the mess stirs and sounds gritty and has become stiffer, you're finished. Add more corn meal if when you try to make a cake, it really sticks to your fingers. It will, ultimately, be sticky, but you can flour or coat your fingers in corn meal to prevent a big mess.
Making the suet patties: On your kitchen counter tear out a bunch small sheets of saran wrap. Take a few spoonfuls and mold the stuff into a square. Then place the square on a plate and pour more corn meal over it, turning it around so that there's corn meal on each side and the edges. Fold up the saran wrap around it.
Form all the patties, wrap them up, and store in freezer in a gallon freezer bag. If you have a suet holder from a store, just reuse that. Or, you can simply put the suet in a crack of a tree, on a branch, or on a stump--if you don't have dogs. The simplest is to first purchase a regular suet square from a Home Depot and use the wire container for your homemade suet.
You'll have many hours of enjoyment watching the birds eating your own suet cakes, and you'll feel better knowing you're helping the wildlife stay warm while you are saving money at the same time. And the birds love this homemade recipe much more than the store-bought stuff.